In 2001, after much research and discussion, DizzyDog came to live with me. She was an orange roan cocker spaniel who I loved and adored. When I split from my partner in 2004 Dizzy stayed with him. I missed her desperately and so returned to the same breeder for Muppet.
Up until this point I was what I would call a basic dog owner. I had a dog, we went for walks and that was about it. Great as it was, I thought I could do more. Like all dog owners I firmly believed I had the best dog in the world and wanted everyone else to share in that so Muppet and I embarked as volunteers for Pets As Therapy and Muppet became a PAT Dog. From there things sort of snowballed. Muppet was lightly shown in Open & Championship shows and although placed, how anyone keeps a cocker "that clean" was beyond me.
I put Muppet through her Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme and then went on to not only teach the scheme for several years but I am now an Approved Examiner at Bronze, Silver & Gold levels having tested over 400 dogs to date.
Muppet really opened up a new world for me, with all the things I could do. Most weekends we can be found doing some sort of dog activity albeit Rally-O, Scentwork, basic Agility, Clicker Training or something more academic, TTouch, Dog Law or Canine First Aid worshops. I gained my Microchipping qualification as well as representing Pets As Therapy at Crufts for many years. In 2010 Muppet won the PAT Dog of the Year and was presented in front of nearly 10,000 people at Crufts. We regularly visit the Children's Ward at the Royal United Hospital in Bath where she is a huge hit.
Krumble came to live with us in 2010 and has certainly kept me on my toes. Definitely the brains of the operation and constantly on the go. She has also qualified as a registered PAT Dog and we have now found that Scentwork is her speciality. For the past 6 years I've organised an annual family picnic for all Powerscourt cocker spaniel owners (Muppet & Krumble's breeder). We normally have about 30 dogs, ranging from 4 months to 12 years, all from the same line. It is just a bit of fun but a fairly spectacular sight!
In 2011 I became a KCAI memeber (Kennel Club Accredited Instructor) and I am working towards my accreditation. This really pulls together all my knowledge into one place and more importantly, highlights the gaps!
Above all, I am doing all of this for fun, to improve my knowledge about dogs and to be able to provide a happy and stimulating life for Muppet & Krumble.
A list of some of my activities / qualifications to date can be seen below.
- KCAI Memeber
- KC GCDS Approved Examiner (all levels)
- Completed Bronze, Silver & Gold with own dogs
- Pets As Therapy (PAT) Temperament Assessor
- Canine First Responder - MJ Training
- Pets as Therapy Visiting Volunteer
- Agility Foundation Course
- Pet Gun Dog Course
- Scentwork Workshops - Talking Dogs
- Canine Health & Welfare Seminar
- Dog Law - Trevor Cooper
- Fun Nose Work - Four Paws One Direction
- Discover Dogs
- Just Dogs Live
- PAT Dog of the Year Finalist & Winner
- TTouch seminar
- KC Requirements of a Show Judge
- KC Confirmation & Movement (& Hands on module)
- Microchipping - Pet-Detect
- Clicker Training Workshop - MJ Training
- Animal Aiders First Aid Workshop
- Tracking Workshop - Colin Rose
- Sirus Sniffers Workshop - Kelly Dunbar
- Paws in the Park - Indigo Collar Tags
- Accredited Scent Work Handler - Talking Dogs